Blanket ban unlikely on pellet guns in Kashmir

Use of pellet guns has triggered controversy after the crowd control device left thousands blind during the current unrest. (Representative picture) Photograph:( AFP )

Agencies Srinagar Aug 29, 2016, 04.05 PM (IST)
The controversial pellet guns, used as a crowd control weapon during protests by security forces in India's northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir, may not be completely banned but will be fired in 'rarest of rare cases', PTI news agency reported today.

The report said that a top government official has informed that senior government functionaries have arrived at this conclusion after extensive consultations with security forces and examining the ground realities in Kashmir Valley.

Amid widespread outrage overuse of pellet gun, that has blinded thousands during the ongoing protest, Indian home minister Rajnath Singh last week assured a substitute to the 'non-lethal weapons.

Set up by the home ministry last month, an expert panel is believed to have zeroed in on 'PAVA shells', a chilli-based ammunition, which is deemed to be less lethal and immobilises the target temporarily.

The 'PAVA shells', as per the blueprint prepared in this regard and accessed by PTI, were under trial for over a year at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Lucknow, and its full development has come at a time when Kashmir is on the boil.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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